Rice is one of the simplest dishes to prepare, but one of the hardest to prepare well. Rice cookers like the Zojirushi NP-HBC18 take all of the guesswork out of making perfect rice, and they allow you to set it and forget it while you concentrate on preparing the other parts of the meal.
The NP-HBC18 can cook up to 10 portions of rice at once. Cooking big portions of rice can lead to problems with uneven cooking, but that’s where the Zojirushi really shines. The appliance uses induction-heating technology, which turns the entire pan into a heating element; and this ensures that the entire batch is cooked to the same consistency and doneness. If you’ve been frustrated by finding burnt rice in the bottom of your rice cooker while the other layers are still soupy or dry, you’ll love the NP-HBC18.
- Automatic electric rice cooker and warmer
- Makes up to 10 cups of uncooked rice per batch
- Keep warm function can keep rice warm for up to 12 hours after cooking
- Stainless steel exterior with clear coating
- 1350 watts at 120 volts
- Cooks with efficient induction heating
- Spherical inner cooking pan
- Detachable cooking lid
- 10.875 x 15.625 x 9.375 inches
- LCD control panel
- Built-in timer and clock
- Comes with non-stick spatula and measuring cup
- Shipping weight 14 pounds
- Made in Japan
- One-year manufacturer’s warranty
Features and Benefits
The Zojirushi NP-HBC18 makes perfect white rice, but unlike some other brands, it can also be used to cook brown rice, sushi rice, and even mixed rice blends that can confound other units. It can even be used to prepare porridge and other breakfast foods.
Many health-conscious cooks are looking to release all the nutrients and amino acids that brown rice can offer. The Zojirushi has a brown rice setting that soaks and preheats the brown rice to 104 degrees F for two hours before beginning its normal cooking cycle, which releases GABA amino acids that are credited with helping to lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and improve kidney function.
Rice produces a foamy, starchy film that can be difficult to clean from some surfaces. The NP-HBC18 features a removable solid metal inner cooking pan that is lined with non-stick coating that makes cleanup a breeze. The bottom of the cooking pan is curved so that rice doesn’t get stuck in corners, making removing all the rice easier in addition to making cleanup more straightforward. The inner lid that seals the cooking pan during cooking can be detached for easy cleaning in the sink, another plus. The exterior of the unit is tough, attractive stainless steel with a clear coating over it, which not only looks good in any kitchen, but also is simple to wipe down after use to keep it looking brand new indefinitely.
The LCD control panel features big, easy-to-read numbers and well-marked operating buttons that let users easily set up and operate the unit for any kind of rice. There’s a good amount of microprocessor power backing up the controls, and the cooker features fuzzy logic that automatically adapts itself to many parameters for different kinds of rice so you don’t have to. There’s a thermal sensor that is triggered automatically by insertion of the inner pan, and it adjusts cooking time on the fly so your rice never burns or comes out soggy.
- Makes up to ten cups of uncooked rice at a time, so it can feed one person or a whole family with one batch
- Induction heating turns the entire removable cooking pan into a heating element, ensuring thorough and even results
- Removable non-stick coated interior pan is easy to clean, saving both cooking and cleanup time
- Interior cooking lid is also removable for easy cleaning
- Exterior of appliance is coated stainless steel which fits in with any kitchen and is easy to keep clean
- Extended keep warm mode makes timing the rice to coincide with other dishes easy
- Almost silent during operation
- Plays charming little songs instead of beeping when done
- North Americans unused to Japanese measurements might misunderstand portion sizes
The Zojirushi NP-HBC18 rice cooker is a best seller, and reviews of the unit are resoundingly good. A remarkable 80 percent of reviewers rate the unit at a full five stars. Users rave about the ability of the Zojirushi to produce big batches of rice with every grain of rice done to the exact same tenderness.
Users that are accustomed to rice cookers available in the Far East like the familiar high-quality results that the NP-HBC18 produces, and reviewers in North America who are unfamiliar with rice cookers are amazed at the results that are possible with the appliance.
The Zojirushi NP-HBC18 isn’t inexpensive, but many reviewers say it’s the best investment in kitchen appliances they’ve ever made.